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LIVE BLOG: TransAsia plane crashes in Taiwan

A TransAsia plane carrying 58 people was travelling from Taiwan's Kaohsiung to Penghu when it crashed on Wednesday night (July 23). At least 48 people died.

11.31PM: CTITV says it will take at least seven days to analyse data from the black boxes.

10.09PM: More than 24 hours have passed since the crash, and rescue efforts have halted - Xinhua.

9.52PM: CTITV reports that investigators may be able to get preliminary answers to the crash in a few days' time, based on analysis of the black boxes. It also says the black boxes have arrived in Taipei.

9.11PM: According to Xinhua, 32 of the bodies have been identified. 

In response to questions on why the flight was allowed to go ahead despite the bad weather, authorities say the weather at that time was within appropriate standards for landing, and the pilot has the authority to decide whether to land - Xinhua.

8.37PM: Hong Kong Commercial Daily says the crash investigation has begun, and the probe may take up to a year. It also reports that the black boxes have been sent to Taipei.

7.31PM: Airline Route tweets that TransAsia will retire flight number GE222, and replace it with GE2288.

5.36PM: Rescuers have begun removing debris from the crash site with heavy equipment for evaluation. Relatives of the victims hold a ceremony at the crash site as a farewell for the deceased - CTITV

5.26PM: France's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development tweets message of support  for the loved ones of the victims.

5.14PM: Global Times reports that the plane cockpit had hit residential properties during the crash. It adds that most of the survivors were seated in the middle of the left side of the aircraft.

4.42PM: CCTV News says one person who could have been on the ground at the crash site is still missing.

4.11PM: The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Taiwan clarifies there were no Hong Kong residents on board the flight. This contradicts TransAsia's flight manifest, which said there was one person from Hong Kong.

4.09PM: Taiwanese celebrities, including Richie Ren and Elva Hsiao, take to social media to express sadness over the incident. 

“May the departed rest in peace! The injured, stay safe! I pray there won’t be another tragic accident!” said Richie Ren in a micro blog post.

“There have been too many souls who departed because of air accidents. I hope God can console the families and friends of the departed … my prayer goes out to all of you tonight,” said Elva Hsiao in a micro blog post.

4.07PM: Of the 10 injured passengers, one has been discharged from hospital, two are still in Penghu and seven were flown to the main Taiwan island on a military plane.

TransAsia's general manager has arrived in Penghu to help with funeral-related matters and field operations. According to a TransAsia statement, he will also cooperate with the Civil Aviation Authority and the Flight Safety Committee investigation.

2.40PM: TransAsia has released the full passenger manifest for GE222:

2.05PM: China President Xi Jinping, currently on a trip to South America, has expressed his deepest condolences to the victims and their families. He also said he's deeply grieved by the airliner's crash. The country has offered assistance to Taiwan, but the latter declined, saying it is not needed at the moment.

A spokesperson from the Penghu District Prosecutor's Office said most of the crash site has been cleared, and the crashed plane will be lifted to search for survivors, according to a CCTV report. More than 40 bodies have been sent to the mortuary and, with search-and-rescue operations mostly completed, the next step is to focus on recovering passengers' belongings.

1.00PM: Investigators have found GE222's two black boxes, according to Xinhua. However, due to the force of the impact, the black boxes were damaged and Taiwanese officials said they'll need some time to process the boxes before analysing the data.

11.30AM: TransAsia has amended its flight manifest to include one person from Hong Kong, in addition to the two French nationals previously identified as non-locals on the flight.

11.10AM: A Taiwanese transport official says Taiwan's military has despatched planes to Penghu this morning, and will send those injured on the island to either Kaohsiung or Taipei - pending good weather condition and families' approval, TVBS reports.

9.30AM: A Taiwanese official has updated the death toll for the GE222 crash to 48. Of these, 34 have not yet been identified. 

12.44AM: Caijing.com.cn reports that rescuers are now using heavy equipment to break the wreckage of the plane so that they can search for survivors.

There are conflicting reports on whether there were residents on the ground injured in the crash. Outlook Weekly says no residents were hurt, but caijing.com.cn reports that five people on the ground were sent to the hospital.

12:21AM: China's Taiwan Affairs Office Minister Zhang Zhijun expresses his condolences over those killed in the crash. He also sends his regards to the injured and their relatives. In addition, he says China is willing to extend help if Taiwan requires it - caijing.com.cn

12.09AM: Firefighters say the rescue effort was hindered by poor lighting and heavy rain. In addition, rescuers had to continuously douse the crash site with water to cool it down before they could access the plane's interior - caijing.com.cn

JULY 24 12.00AM: Survivor claims that the plane had exploded in mid-air. According to caijing.com.cn, she had phoned her mother at the hospital, saying there was a short lapse in time between the crash and when the plane exploded and burst into flames.

11.52PM: Video from Xu Yi Min reportedly shows rescue efforts at the crash site, which is located in a residential area.

11.48PM: Kaohsiung mayor Chen Chu will head to Kaohsiung airport tonight to meet relatives of those on board GE222 - chinanews.com

11.27PM: According to chinanews.com, weeping relatives have arrived at Kaohsiung Xiaogang airport.

Shanghai Morning Post reports that two of the passengers were French nationals. It also said 26 bodies have been sent to the morgue.

11.25PM: TransAsia says the injured have been sent to hospital, and the airline has set up an emergency centre. It does not confirm the number of casualties - there are still conflicting reports about this from both media sources and Taiwan authorities. 

11.18PM: A Taiwan investigation team will head to Penghu tonight to start probe; Taiwan has sent 200 troops to help rescue efforts. The black box has been found and will be kept with Penghu county police - Caijing.com.cn

11.10PM: The plane was unable to land on its first attempt and later lost contact with air traffic control - CTITV

11.10PM: Taiwan transport minister Yeh Kuang-shih says that they may have found one of the black boxes. 

11.05PM: TransAsia has released the list of names of passengers on the flight. Relatives have rushed to the airport upon hearing news of the crash – Shanghai Morning Post

At a press conference, TransAsia's general manager bows in apology to relatives of GE222 passengers. The airline says it will bring relatives to Penghu Magong airport tomorrow. Rescue efforts are ongoing – People’s Daily

11PM: Malaysia Airlines, which has suffered the devastating losses of MH370 and MH17 this year, tweets a message of support for TransAsia. 

10.50PM: Taiwan president Ma Ying-jeou: This is a very painful day in Taiwan's aviation history, the whole of Taiwan is in mourning. He will offer the best support and help to both the survivors and casualties - China Business Journal

10.45PM: Shanghai Morning Post reports that eyewitnesses heard two explosions at the time of the crash and saw injured people staggering out of the plane. 

10.40PM: "51 people are feared dead and seven people injured," says Taiwan's Civil Aeronautics Administration. But the local fire chief put the death toll at 45, according to AFP. 

10.30PM: Firefighters are still dousing the plane to cool it down; it crashed in a residential area and caused houses to collapsed, but no news if there are casualties inside - People's Daily. 

9.56PM: China Business Journal says authorities have confirmed 47 people are dead, and two are in critical condition. It also reported that two residential properties have been damaged, but no one was inside at the time of the incident.

9.41PM: Weibo Breaking News reports that witnesses saw seven of the injured crawling out of the crashed plane and they were rescued by residents. When emergency services arrived, the plane was almost completely charred.

Shanghai Morning Post says the pilot of the aircraft had 23,000 hours of flying experience and the co-pilot had 22,000 hours of flying experience.

9.38PM: According to People's Daily, it is still raining heavily, and all of the injured have been sent to hospital. People's Daily also said the number of dead cannot be confirmed as of yet.

9.34PM: Aircraft crashed from about 28 metres above the ground. Taiwan media understands that the plane did not skid; the cockpit hit the ground first and burst into flames.

9.25PM: According to TVBS reports, TransAsia flight GE222 travelling from Kaohsiung to Penghu suddenly made an emergency landing at 5.43pm. There were 58 people on board (50 adult passengers, 4 children and 4 crew). 51 reported dead and 7 injured. Chinese media say it was forced to make an emergency landing due to bad weather.

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